BSPOKE Software - Acceptance Criteria for a Business Custom software project

When working on a software development project, you might be wondering if you need acceptance criteria for your project. In this article, we’re going to take a look at what acceptance criterion refers to and whether this would be beneficial for your upcoming project.

What is an acceptance criterion?

Acceptance criteria are a set of predefined requirements that need to be met in order to mark the user story as complete in Agile projects. You might also hear them referred to as the definition of done because they suggest that the work is completed. A set of acceptance criterion offer many benefits to clients, developers, and project managers. This is because they can help everyone to see that the work is completed to the specified requirements. BSPOKE Software can work with you to create an acceptance criterion that you’ll be happy with. This can be used as the basis to agree when the work would be classed as completed or within an SRS (Software Requirements Specification).

Who should use an acceptance criterion?

Almost any project has the potential to benefit from a set of acceptance criteria. These requirements need to be easy to test by developers so that there is no confusion when it comes to reviewing the results. This tool is particularly useful in extremely complex projects, where there are many elements that come together in order to finish off the project in its entirety.

You need to ensure the criteria you write are clear and concise so that everyone on the team can understand them. On top of that, you’ll want to focus on the user perspective. This is one of the top reasons to use acceptance criteria, as you’ll be able to put yourself in the user’s shoes and think about your work from their point of view.

The benefits

You might think creating acceptance criteria would add a lot of time and effort to the work. In fact, you’ll save resources by finding issues earlier on in the process. Instead of launching your software and realising there is a major issue, you’ll be able to find and fix it early.

Software development teams tend to be primarily focused on the technical side of the project. Instead, they need to start thinking about how the software will work from a user’s point of view. Acceptance criteria gives them the chance to think about how a certain feature will appear to users and the benefits it could offer users in the long run. It will help you to describe negative scenarios, such as invalid passwords. Your developer will then be able to format your software further to overcome any issues you’ve noticed.  Testing is so important in any large software development project, and acceptance criteria can play a major part in this.

Different types

Our team understands there is not a once size fits all approach to acceptance criterion. Based on the project we are working on and its complexity, we can write acceptance criteria in different formats. The first option is scenario-oriented which is based on the given template and offers a consistent structure for your testers. Rule-oriented uses a checklist template and is an efficient solution for checking off items on your acceptance criteria. Finally, we can create custom acceptance criteria based on your company’s specific requirements.

There are a few different approaches to acceptance criteria, which is why we recommend adding this to almost any project.  While traditional testing focuses on the technical aspects of the project, acceptance criteria’s focus is more on the business requirements. They outline the required user experience, whether users are internal or external to your company.

How to get the best results

Firstly, we’ll need to write the criteria before development begins so that we capture all of your needs before the work starts. Both parties will need to agree on these in order for testing to go ahead with no issues. Try not to make the criteria too narrow and specific, as this leaves little flexibility during the process. It needs to convey the intent but not focus on the final solution.

Acceptance criteria needs to be achievable. Instead of creating an excessively long list of criteria, we focus on the areas that are critical for your project. We will ensure the criteria are measurable and not too wide. By keeping these areas in mind, we’ll be able to add acceptance criteria to any upcoming project you require.

If you are ready to start work on your next software development project or have any further questions about acceptance criteria, contact our team today. We’ll be happy to work with you on a project of any size.